Project information

Digital Learning in rural Tanzanian schools

Low cost tablets + solar power are game-changing technologies for remote rural schools where the quality of education is poor. With the support of a trained digital learning coach, technology is transforming learning opportunities and the way teachers and students think about education.

January 2017 - December 2018

Charity information: Lyra in Africa

Lyra in Africa logo
  • Need


    Secondary education is failing rural Tanzanians. Only the very brightest students can master academic concepts in the formal lecture-style system. Teachers proceed regardless, and over years, the gap between the syllabus and students’ understanding becomes almost impossible to bridge. Only 10% of girls pass secondary school maths. Most students leave without formal qualifications or the core skills they need to improve their livelihoods, so they return to subsistence farming.


    We supply schools with a device called RACHEL which has world class educational materials (including Khan Academy) for offline use. Students access interactive content on RACHEL using tablets, enabling them to build their numeracy, literacy and research skills, better preparing them for life after school. At the same time, we train and mentor teachers to move towards student-centred learning focused on skills mastery rather than lecture-style where the priority is completing syllabus.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Enable students to have regular access to tablets for self-study


    » Supply tablets, RACHEL server and solar charging equipment to rural schools.
    » Provide a trained digital learning coach to run regular digital learning sessions and train students and teachers to use tablets effectively
    » Analyse student data on progress achieved in digital learning programs (especially Khan Academy)

    What success will look like

    We will track the number of hours tablets are in use and the learning activities students are doing on the tablets.

    Aim 2

    Train teachers to use tablets and transform their teaching to interactive, student-centred learning


    » Provide ongoing training, teaching practice and mentoring sessions to teachers

    What success will look like

    We will observe teaching and engage regularly with teachers to understand changes they are making to their teaching as a result of training.

  • Impact


    Improvement in school academic performance by December 2018, especially in maths, which is a focus of the project.


    School timetables are already busy, and it is hard to secure time and regular access to tablets. Teachers also have a limited view of education, and are less willing to use global resources not explicitly presented as per the Tanzanian syllabus. The training builds teachers' understanding of the power of digital learning and skills in using different resources, in order to increase their commitment and use of the tools.


    We will post updates on our website and send two email updates to supporters per year with project highlights.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £5,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £2,000 Hardware Tablets, RACHEL and solar charging devices
      £2,000 Digital learning coaches Contribution towards monthly stipends for digital learning coaches
      £1,000 monitoring and evaluation data analysis and learning/ training meetings with digital learning coaches
  • Background


    The project is in Iringa, Tanzania, where many households are poor, but there is huge economic and agricultural potential which could be unlocked with good education. 52% of 0-2 year olds in Iringa are stunted due to malnutrition, highlighting the levels of extreme poverty. Only 9% of the poorest children are in secondary school. Keeping girls in school is particularly vital: educated girls have more control over their lives, and opt for smaller families that they can better support.


    1000 boys and girls in government secondary schools, studying Form 1 - Form 4, equivalent to GCSEs / O Levels.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Lyra's model is being highlighted as best practice, based on the quality of support we are providing to schools to leverage the power of the technology. (Technology on its own cannot transform learning). Lyra has been invited to lead the growing community of RACHEL users in Tanzania ( to provide training, technical support and share best practice with other organizations using technology to improve the quality of education.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jackline Seni

    Digital Learning Manager, leads the project. Jackline came top in maths exams in Tanzania and is a passionate advocate for technology for education.

    Naomi Rouse

    Technical Advisor: program design, oversight, and data analysis, drawing on 16 years' experience of managing education programmes in rural Tanzania.


pays for one tablet. (Each school receives a set of 30 - 40 tablets)

"The teachers don't have time to explain to us again and again when we don't understand things, so we can use the tablets to practise by ourselves."